Friday, October 2, 2015

Death and other certainties

Amid the remonstration and analysis that followed the Haj stampede in Mecca, I read that it is a blessing if death comes to you during prayer because you're with god when it happens. I don't see how that is supposed to console those left behind.

When I was in college, Fred, who was always smiling, was informed that his mother had become ill and passed away in Mecca. If I remember correctly, he told us at dinner that evening. He said, "Guys, my mum dah meninggal." And there was nothing we could do but keep him company until he could go home for the funeral.

Until we can actually reach inside a person and make them feel better (though bystanders would feel less helpless if that were possible, would/should we?), "death during prayer is a blessing", hollow as it sounds, will just have to suffice.

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